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Bumgarner, Giants get regular-season feel

Ace lefty 'on schedule' as most of Opening Day lineup plays vs. Cubs
MLB.com @alysonfooter

MESA, Ariz. -- If Giants fans needed a reminder that Opening Day is looming, they needed to look no further than the players who comprised their team's lineup Tuesday night in a 2-1 loss to the split-squad Cubs.

Save for Evan Longoria, who was sidelined for another day with a sore ankle, every Giant who was in the starting lineup Tuesday is expected to be there Opening Day. That included left-hander Madison Bumgarner, who produced his longest outing of the spring, allowing two runs over five innings, striking out seven.

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MESA, Ariz. -- If Giants fans needed a reminder that Opening Day is looming, they needed to look no further than the players who comprised their team's lineup Tuesday night in a 2-1 loss to the split-squad Cubs.

Save for Evan Longoria, who was sidelined for another day with a sore ankle, every Giant who was in the starting lineup Tuesday is expected to be there Opening Day. That included left-hander Madison Bumgarner, who produced his longest outing of the spring, allowing two runs over five innings, striking out seven.

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Spring Training information

He'll have two more starts. He'll probably build up to at least six innings in the next outing and then scale back a bit for the final one before Opening Day.

"I feel like I'm on schedule," Bumgarner said. "At this point we've worked on stuff out there, and I'm just kind of starting dialing into game-type stuff. I'm working on competing and getting guys out, as opposed to working on certain pitches. Today for the most part we did that, but we did throw a few more changeups today."

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The game had a regular-season feel. The Giants are in a stretch of playing three consecutive night games, much like they'll do when the games start to count. Also, they played in front of a huge crowd -- the Cubs' announced attendance at Sloan Park for this one was 15,849, a Cactus League record.

After several weeks of workouts on the back fields and games under the hot sun, Tuesday's matchup between two of the game's premier franchises was a welcome break from the norm for several involved.

"A packed house, it's a cool night game, it does invigorate them," manager Bruce Bochy said. "It gets them a little charged up. You see these pitchers now, they're getting ready now. Their stuff's picked up on both sides."

The two teams combined for 23 strikeouts -- 10 for Giants pitchers, 13 for the Cubs. On Chicago's side, Tyler Chatwood accounted for nine.

"Their guys had good stuff, our guys pitched well," Bochy said. "Now things are getting a little bit more like normal."

Camp battle

Rule 5 Draft pick Julian Fernandez strengthened his candidacy to make the bullpen with a perfect seventh inning against the Cubs. He struck out Cael Brockmeyer and induced ground balls from Efren Navarro and Mark Zagunis.

Bochy praised Fernandez's pitching, and his poise.

"You have to slow him down a little bit -- you see how amped up he is out there," Bochy said. "He wants to go. He's getting more and more confident and more comfortable out on the mound. This is a good test for him. Playing the Cubs in this ballpark, it was packed, the night game, it was close to a Major League game. I thought he handled himself very well."

Injury update

Longoria is slated to rejoin the Giants lineup Wednesday after missing several days with a sore left ankle and heel.

Up next

The Giants will play their third of four consecutive road games and their second of three night games when they meet the Mariners in Peoria on Wednesday at 6:40 p.m. PT. Veteran left-hander Derek Holland, a non-roster invitee auditioning for a rotation spot, will take the mound for the Giants. Right-handers Mark Melancon, Sam Dyson and Derek Law are also scheduled to pitch. The Mariners are planning to counter with left-hander James Paxton.

Right-hander Johnny Cueto will pitch in a Minor League game at the Giants' facility at 1 p.m. PT.

Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter.

San Francisco Giants, Madison Bumgarner